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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Science Fiction > WWII > Green Lantern (2011/Warner Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy) + X-Men – First Class (2011/Fox Blu-ray + Digital Copy)

Green Lantern (2011/Warner Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy) + X-Men – First Class (2011/Fox Blu-ray + Digital Copy)


Green Lantern

Picture: B+/B+/B-

Sound: B+/B+/B

Extras: C

Film: B-


X-Men: First Class

Picture: B+/B-

Sound: B+/B

Extras: C

Film: B


Here are two examples of films borrowing from well established source material; one doing it very well and the other missing the mark.  Green Lantern was a highly anticipated film, leading some to even make statements such as “this film will rival Star Wars,” well those people were sadly mistaken.  Green Lantern is not the worst incarnation of a superhero film we have experienced but made very poor use of the source material available to it and an even poorer execution.  X-Men: First Class, however, whereas not perfect got it mostly right.


Green Lantern

What we get with the character of Hal Jordan is (again) Ryan Reynolds playing the same part he does in every film.  He does a good job of playing the arrogant, yet likable hot shot fighter pilot.  If someone else played Hal Jordan he may have come off as a jerk, but Reynolds having played the suave, arrogant, pretty boy with a heart a number of times already has it down pat.  The plot of the film is simple, yet concurrently confusing.  A magic ring with mystic powers seeks out Hal Jordan as the successor to a fallen ring bearer; choosing him to become part of the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps.  The films villain and arch nemesis of Green Lantern Corps is Parallax (Clancy Brown); who eats up planets and seeks out the destruction of the Green Lanterns.  It is from here the film falls apart.  The ill trained and inexperienced Hal Jordan must fight off Parallax, after only a minuscule  amount of ‘training’ with other Lanterns played by the likes of Michael Clark Duncan, Geoffrey Rush, and Mark Strong (as the imminently evil Sinestro).  There is no character development, no reason for the ring choosing Jordan, no rhyme or reason for basically anything.  In many ways the film is beautifully made with plenty of money poured into making it look great, but the film is lacking the more ‘real world’ aspects fans desire.  The characters look somewhat cartoony and the storyline isn’t far off.  What Green Lantern could have been is now gone and all we are left with is a jumbled mess.


X-Men: First Class

This film delivers all around; ending up as not only a good superhero film, but a great film in general.  Whereas the film could have been a bit darker/edgier/grittier, for the most part it did a fine job.  Taking place in the 1960s, the film takes off like a rocket as we are introduced to the origins of the future Professor X and Magneto, before they took their place in mutant history.  Exploring the events right around the Cuban Missile Crisis we have a story unfolding that will shape the rest of history.  First Class is based on the comic series of the same name, showing Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) gathering mutants to explore their potential (with the help of the government) and protect them from the evil Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).  Placing the film in a real time period, while concurrently giving the characters back story and depth separates it from the less than stellar hero films we got this past summer.  Rather than just slapping the name on a film and expecting fans to come running, X-men First Class treated fans to a solid cinematic experience that contained all the right elements for success.


Overall both films have similar technical features and demonstrate how far home video has come.  Granted both of these films are better viewed on the big screen as they have the ‘action packed’ POW that can’t be duplicated elsewhere, but both films clean/clear High Definition on top of Green Lantern’s well done 3D do present well for a home viewing experience.  Green Lantern is a 2.4 X 1 1080p, whereas X-Men is close by with a 2.35 X 1 image.  Both have stunning color palettes embracing a degree of vibrancy; though as a nice comparison X-Men is a bit more subdued or muted as it emphasizes the 1960’s atmosphere.  Both images as previously mentioned are crisp and well defined and even as Green Lantern pushes the limits of technology with 3D the image is mostly clear, without blurring or distortion of the image.  There are moments here and there that both Green Lantern and X-Men could have been better as black levels aren’t always best and minor light/dark issues hinder; though few and far in between.


The extras are minimal on both sets and are as follows:


Green Lantern

  • Maximum Movie Mode: Green Lantern’s Light
    • A feature length look into Green Lantern including Picture-In-Picture Commentary, 8 featurettes on the making of Green Lantern, Character Bios, Picture Galleries, Storyboards
    • Ultraviolet Digital Copy of Film
      • VERY annoying Digital Copy of the film.  Whereas most Digital Copies allow you to pop in the disc and load to iTunes or other player; Green Lantern forces buyers to load a Flixster Ap and basically sign your life away.  Very frustrating and invasive.


X-Men: First Class

  • 2 Hours of extra features
  • Cerebro: Mutant Tracker
    • The Ultimate X-men Mutant Database
      • Search, track and locate your favorite mutants; then unlock essential videos, profiles and more
  • Children of Atom: Multi-Part Documentary
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Composer’s Isolated Score


In the end, I enjoyed both films thoroughly, but with the coming of Christopher Nolan’s take on the Batman series, comic book/Superhero films are now held to a higher standard.  The days of throwing on some cheap tights and hokey one-liners are LONG gone and now audiences demand depth, realism, and continuity.  It isn’t enough to bring a superhero to the screen, the film must deliver.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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